Patrons can now take a journey through Orem's unique history in a new location. The Orem Heritage Museum, which has had its home on the second floor of the SCERA Center for the last 15 years, has moved to the historic building just south of the Center.
In January 2011, SCERA received an anonymous donation to purchase the building that had housed CEDO (Commission for Economic Development in Orem) for many years. In keeping with its historic roots as an early LDS Seminary building, SCERA decided to use the building as a new home for the Orem Heritage Museum's historic collection.
SCERA President & CEO Adam J. Robertson is thrilled that the museum finally has its own space. "The museum is filled with so much history and has amazing exhibits that deserve to be seen. With the new building right on State Street, the museum will have better public exposure."
In the last several months, SCERA began renovations to the building, including new windows, walls resurfaced and painted, marquee sign, trim, new carpet and landscaping enhancements. In addition, a sidewalk was put in connecting the SCERA Center to the museum through its outdoor courtyard.
Museum curator Brent Farley is excited to unveil the museum's new home. He says "It's nice to have the museum right next door to the SCERA Center, and we hope those who come to events will pop over before shows and during intermission to take a look."
Outside the building, visitors and passers-by will enjoy the display of an early 1930's International Harvester tractor that was donated to the museuM. Robertson adds, "In keeping with Orem's early roots in farming, agriculture and orchards, the tractor will be a perfect way to draw attention to the museum. "
The new museum offers the same square footage as the room they occupied at the Center, but instead of one big room, the exhibits are divided into more intimate areas.
Many of the exhibits received a facelift, including the museum's most popular attraction, a diorama of 1940's Orem with a working model railroad. The exhibit was completely rebuilt with a brand new working train which is a favorite with children. Many other exhibits were upgraded and enhanced.
There is also a new resource room, with books on prominent Orem residents and veterans, Orem history books, old newspaper clippings, a public research computer, and video and audio histories, including a flat screen TV made possible by a young man's Eagle Project.
The move to the new facility frees up 2,400 square feet of space in the SCERA Center (the largest room in the venue), which can now be used to facilitate more use by community groups, including classes, rehearsals, performances, lunches, banquets, meetings as well as use by SCERA groups.
The Orem Heritage Museum has more than 30,000 items in its collection, with exhibits including household items like a coal stove, butter churn, old-fashioned washing machine, popcorn poppers, victrola, pioneer clothing and more; World War I to Korean War displays featuring uniforms, equipment and weapons; Indian petroglyphs and arrowheads; A blacksmith shop and agricultural displays; Early Orem schools, churches and railroad exhibits; World War II Orem prisoner of war camp display; Historic memorabilia from Geneva Steel, SCERA and more.
The grand opening of the museum will be Saturday, November 10, with extended hours from 12Noon-7pm. The museum's regular public hours will be Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and Saturdays from 3:00-7:00pm. Families, individuals and groups are welcome to drop in for a free walk-through or guided tour. Groups may schedule a tour at other times by contacting the museum for an appointment at (801) 225-ARTS ext. 1030 or email@example.com.
The museum is always seeking monetary donations or donation of Orem-related historic items or information, and would love to hear from anyone who might be willing to add to the museum's collection.